Top Takeaways from the Top Minds in Marketing: Recap of the Argyle CMO Forum

June 13, 2016 Alex Ortiz

The Argyle Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum, #ArgyleCMO—held on June 8th in San Francisco—packed a tremendous amount of insight and inspiration into just one day. In addition to the keynote presentation, there were group discussions, fireside chats, and panel discussions, not to mention the opportunity for informal chats with other marketers.

As you can imagine, it was too much for one person to take it all in. So we used our collective QuanticMind to divide and conquer, with multiple QuanticMinders covering different tracks. Then we came back and shared what we learned with each other so that I could share it with you.

For all of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a quick recap of some of the most talked about topics:

1 . Market at scale: Using machine learning and data science

Suparna Chhibber-Mohler, head of marketing at Amazon Launchpad was a panel participant in the session “Leadership Speaks from Data to Decisions to Value.” She used the example of Amazon and how the company delivers the experience it does at scale by relying on machine learning (buyers who bought item X also purchased item Y) and data science (predicting the likelihood a shopper will buy a certain item). Machine learning and data science techniques can help marketers in all kinds of businesses scale what they are doing—across more audiences, geographies, products, keywords … you get the picture.

2. Treat customers as individuals and not segments

Personalization based on segmentation is wrong two out of three times. Dr. Volker Hildebrand, global vice president strategy, customer engagement and commerce at SAP Hybris, presented that sobering fact as part of his discussion on the gaps in personalization. How can you do it right? Treat customers as individuals and not just as members of a target audience segment. You need to capture individual intent and personalize the experience accordingly, otherwise known as predictive individualization (again, based on machine learning and predictive analytics). 

3 . Let the data speak for itself

Joshua Reynolds, head of marketing at Quantifind, tackled the topic of the dysfunctional relationship between human marketers and marketing data. He gave the example of a beer company that thought pairing food with beer would increase sales. It didn’t. But when the company explored the data, it found that when beer was promoted with music, that’s when sales increased. This thought leadership session really made the case for why intuition only gets marketers so far and how incredibly wrong marketing decisions can be when they are based on gut feelings. As marketers, we all need to be more curious and turn to data for the answers.  

4. Think differently about marketing in the experience economy

In the keynote session, the CMO of StubHub, Jennifer Betka, challenged marketers to start thinking differently about their brands and their approaches to marketing. She prefaced this by describing the new experience economy—consumers spending less on material goods and more on live events and experiences. This change in consumer preferences is impacting entire markets and industries. Take the StubHub example: It recently reinvented its brand identity, going from being a provider of second-hand tickets to providing a central hub to discover new experiences. The bottom line is that as a marketer, you have to think about what the impact of the new experience economy will be for your brand and be open to totally new ways of thinking about your marketing strategy.

5. Use account-based marketing for B2B

If you’re a B2B marketer like me, you’d have to be living under a rock not to know about the buzz around account-based marketing (ABM). Essentially this marketing strategy is about first identifying the companies most likely to buy, then marketing to them. Peter Isaacson, CMO of Demandbase, made the case for ABM in his session titled “Avoiding the Marketing Trend #Fail – How to Future-Proof Your Strategy with Account-Based Marketing.” He described what’s broken in B2B marketing as common issues with:

  1. sales and marketing alignment
  2. the waterfall approach
  3. BANT qualification criteria
  4. Metrics/attribution

Peter’s most interesting proof points were his company’s marketing funnel results. Their funnel conversion stats were off-the-charts exceptional. Demandbase’s business metrics came down to just three KPIs: close rate, average contract value (ACV), and funnel velocity across sales segments.

QuanticMind is well positioned to execute ABM strategies for its customers. Using QuanticMind, marketers can attract and engage accounts across search and social publishers. With Google’s recently launched product “Customer Match,” advertisers can upload and target email lists in AdWords, Gmail, and YouTube. Facebook has Custom Audiences, and Twitter has Tailored Audiences, which are similar in concept. Marketers can now focus on the accounts they care about across these huge, digital ecosystems.

These were a few of the top nuggets of insight we got from the forum. How about those of you who were able to attend? Which sessions did you learn from the most?   

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